Women know that staying fit and active is a key component to overall wellness. It's imperative to squeeze in regular bouts of exercise paired with a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. So which exercise is right for you?

Perhaps you've seen Hollywood's finest clad in skin-hugging tights fresh off the yoga mat and thought it wasn't for you. Actually, yoga is a wonderful low-impact way to stretch, strengthen and breathe your way to a healthier mind and body. Before you start fretting about how you'll look in yoga pants, consider all the benefits yoga offers any body, even yours.

  • Decreases chronic pain: Regular yoga sessions release tight muscles causing chronic pain including backaches, arthritis or carpal tunnel.
  • Increases strength, stamina and flexibility: A good yoga routine includes postures that engage and stretch the entire body.
  • Improves balance: Many yoga poses focus on finding balance within the body and the mind. Regular practice improves your overall balance.
  • Lowers health risks: Exercise lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure, depression and anxiety, insomnia and other diseases
  • Improves mental well-being and ability to focus: The breathing and meditative aspects of yoga allow you to let go of stress and live in the present.
  • Strengthens bones: Body weight-bearing poses strengthen your bones.
  • Decreases blood pressure while increasing circulation to the body's major organs: Inversions and breathing techniques help increase blood flow throughout the body.
  • Encourages weight loss and making healthy food choices: Once you begin living the benefits of regular yoga sessions, you'll see an improved you which will spur you to make better choices across the board.

Anyone can reap the benefits of yoga whether you're a seasoned pro or have never set foot on a mat. Go ahead and treat your muscles, bones and ligaments to the tender care they deserve.

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